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Help us keep the music flowing - Rokvember 2009 - Amarok joins Software Freedom Conservancy

The Amarok Team has never fully rested during the winter, nor did we rest during this hot working summer, and we still won't rest now! It's this time of the year again: The time where a lot of people are keen on sitting in warm houses rather then going out to chase after falling leaves and stormy winds. The time when lots of code is committed and Amarok sees again a lot of changes and improvements. If you are in the warm part of the globe maybe cold weather, snow and ice won't affect you, but you will for sure see effects of this season reflected in Amarok development. It's Roktober!

Oh, wait, it's already November! Rokvember! We really have been incredibly busy and totally missed that month apparently...

At this point we are usually summing up our efforts as well as our spendings. Another year has passed since last October, and we have been working throughout it. All in all a very busy year, where we have released so many new and improved versions: 2.0 beta 2 aka "Nujalik", 2.0 beta 3 "Ataksak", 2.0 RC1 "Narwhal", which culminated in Amarok 2.0 "In the Beginning" in early December, The work continued with the Amarok Team attending FOSDEM in Brussels, CeBit in Hannover, OpenExpo in Bern and still working on the code: we released "Magellan" and security fixes, 2.0.2 "Only Time will tell", 2.1. beta 1 "Nuliajuk", shortly followed by 2.1 beta 2 and Amarok 2.1 "Let There Be Light" in June.

We focused our efforts during the development sprint in Berlin, changed our version control system from SVN to Git, and geared up to another level of speed in development. More than one hundred commits in the first 24 hours when we opened trunk for the next series is self-explaining! And we never rested, represented Amarok at LinuxTag in Berlin, gathered most of the developers in Gran Canaria for the Desktop Summit in July, brainstormed on more improvements and features and the results were there: Amarok 2.1.1 "Oceania", 2.2 beta 1 "Crystal Clear", 2.2 beta 2 "Red Dawn", 2.2 RC1 "Sunset Door" and, finally, Amarok 2.2 "Sunjammer" on October 1st. In between that we represented Amarok at FrosCon in Bonn/Sankt-Augustin and another OpenExpo in Winterthur, Switzerland, allowing people to check out developer previews at our booths.

Attending conferences, representing the development team at booths and giving talks at various events involves some real money in traveling and accommodation, which we are gathering from our donors and sponsors. Also thanks to that money we were able to organize our first Amarok development sprint this year, which was a huge success. Our server costs are needed to resist the download pressure when we release and write to inform you about the work in progress.

So again a productive year comes to its end, and we also need to restock our funds. We did our very best delivering new versions of your favorite music player, now it is your turn to show some love to the Amarok Team, and make it possible to continue to rock greatly also next year! With your support we are sure we will make Amarok even better than it is now :) We are aiming to raise 10.000$ for the coming year.

The Amarok Team is also proud to announce that it has joined the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC). As a legally registered 501(c)(3) charity in the United States, working together with the SFC will allow donors to give tax-deductible donations, and increase the transparency in the spending of Amarok's funds. By entering into a fiscal sponsorship with the SFC, the Amarok project will be able to provide firm support for its US-based developers, showcasing the increasingly global nature of the project.

The partnership with the SFC is mutually complementary with the Amarok project's relationship to the KDE e.V., as it continues to support the Amarok team's activities in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Amarok has always been, and always will be, a part of the KDE community.

Head over to the donate button on your left to support Amarok and help us make it an even better music player!



Just out of interest, how much of a donation does the SFC keep for itself in return for providing this tax-free donation service?

Nothing at all. We agreed to give it 5%, mostly as a "thank you for your services".

I'm skeptical of percentage services like this. I don't see their costs growing linearly with the volume of donations. What does the SFC do with funds donated to itself from its member projects? Money accumulating like this attracts trouble from within or without. Does it re-distribute them to other projects of its choosing, or does it use them to send business development people to free software conferences around the world to gather more members? I trust charities and non-profits best when I know how they spend their donations, and I don't see that for the SFC's own donations, or any commitment as to how much of their incoming donations are spent on their goals as opposed to running costs.

I think you should at a minimum make the 5% SFC cut clear to your supporters on your Paypal and Google landing pages.

We are not obligated to give the SFC any of our donations as it is itself a registered charitable organization, that is funded through its own donation and sponsorship programs, whose mission is in part to provide administrative support for projects like Amarok. As they are providing a valuable service for us, the project has agreed to donate 5% of its receipts to the Conservancy. This is also not inconsistent with previous donations we have made to other Free Software Projects over the years where we used those other projects for functions, code and ideas, it's just a bit more formal this time.

Thank you Amarokers for great work, I always send some money, same this Rokvember! And I hope I'd find some spare time to help you with some piece of code someday ;-)

Hey, just wanted to say thank you! I donated some money 'cause amarok is the only music player I love. It's simply the best!!! and I mean that, I've used tons of other ones, it blows the competition out of the water. Keep up the good work! Any way we could get a little bar to see how far we've made it to $10k?

Thank you for the praise, and also for the donation!

As for the little "donation meter" bar we had last year, we can't currently do this for technical reasons (we only get status updates every XY days). When we get an update, we will try to think of something to communicate it to our users.

I think you are a bit naive to deal with SFC generous help. These guys are not like nerds and seek power and control.

Do you have any facts to support your claims?

Any way to avoid paypal/google checkout? Is it possible to do it via direct bank transfer? (IBAN... (in €))

Just threw 5$ in your direction, guess I made it just in time for rokvember. :)
I would have donated earlier if it was more clearer that there was an option for donating with paypal. But since the Donate button only showed credit-card logos I thought there was no other way. I'm glad I checked the comments again to be sure.